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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How a small-time handicapper concocted a wild MLB game-fixing tale

Gives new meaning to the phrase, “this game is a Locke.”

In the waning days of the 2012 major league season, Niki Congero received an unusual text message. It came from a man she had never met — a sports handicapper who for a couple of weeks had been texting unsolicited betting tips to her cellphone.

“LOL,” wrote the man, who identified himself as James Hunter from VIP Sports. “I got a baseball game that will be fixed on sunday.”...

At first the tips were nothing special, ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 12:08 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fixed games, gambling, jeff locke, pirates

Buschmann: The real reason why pitchers get injured (INSIDER)

The writer, Matt Buschmann, is currently a starting pitcher for the Athletics top minor league affiliate.

I’ve been in professional baseball since 2006 and every year there seems to be a rash of injuries that plague pitchers. This inevitably leads to an eclectic mix of baseball people comprising a panel trying to explain the injury epidemic on local and national baseball television shows. Each time I catch one—and there were several in 2014 due to a slew of spring training injuries—I’m ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:48 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, mechanics, pitch counts, pitcher injuries, velocity

OMNICHATTER 8-13-14

Prepare yourself for the Buck Farmer experience at the OMNICHATTER.

Gamingboy Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Scapegoating the Shift for the Decline in Offense – The Hardball Times

Early this year, Jonah Keri identified defensive shifts as one reason for the recent decline in baseball offense.  By early July, David Lennon placed basically all of the blame for baseball’s offensive challenges on the shift.  Like Keri, he pointed to declining batting averages as proof that the shift was working too well.  Things reached a fever pitch a few weeks ago when Tom Verducci ran with an idea that Lennon had proposed: banning the shift in some form, lest baseball offense never ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

Vincent: undefeated Bud Selig is ‘the Rocky Marciano of baseball politics’

Vincent on sports radio:

“I think he’s the Rocky Marciano of baseball politics. He’s undefeated.
....
Just imagine, guys, if Manfred and Bud left on a given day, would baseball be comfortable with Jerry Reinsdorf, whose record in this area is pretty poor? Collusion was a $280 million mistake. And Jerry was right in the middle of that.”

 

The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: August 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: commissioner's office, selig

Billy Butler would be willing to renegotiate deal to stay in KC next season

When Billy Butler thinks about next season and ponders the possibility of not being in a Royals uniform, he quickly tries to think of something else.

“It would definitely be painful,” Butler tells FOXSportsKansasCity.com.

Butler is in the final season of a four-year, $30 million deal he signed in 2011. There is an extended year to the deal, but it is a club option valued at $12.5 million with a $1 million buyout.

The Royals, naturally, won’t comment on their plans with Butler now. But ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 10:13 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: billy butler, contract, royals

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-13-2014

Dakota County [Nebraska] Herald, August 13, 1914:

Buck Weaver of the White Sox is engaged in gathering together a collection of assorted bats so valuable that it couldn’t be purchased for money, marbles, or chalk. This aggregation of clout rods will consist of bats once grasped by the stalwart hands of Cobb, Speaker, Jackson, Baker and other man [sic] who have helped make the base hit famous. Each bat will be autographed by the man who used it for swatting. Weaver is gathering these for the ...

Read More...
Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 13, 2014 at 09:17 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: buck weaver, dugout, history

Nats Enquirer: Jayson Werth apparently has speeding problems

Why else does someone get a Porsche?

According to a search of Fairfax County General District Court in the Virginia General District Court Online Case Information System, Werth was pulled over in Fairfax County, VA on July 6 and charged with reckless driving for doing 105 in a 55, and had a court date this past Friday (August 8) that has been continued until November 12. We don’t know our Virginia traffic laws very well; but can’t reckless driving offenses can lead to jail time in VA?

...Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2014 at 09:11 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: driving very fast, jayson werth, nationals

Jon Lester: Free Agency Won’t Be Driven By Money, Still Open To Red Sox Return | Boston Red Sox | NESN.com

So he’s saying there still is a chance.

“(The Red Sox) told me (after the trade to Oakland), ‘We’re going to be aggressive. You’re going to get blown out of the water by some of these (other) offers,’” Lester told the Boston Herald. “I’m like, ‘I don’t need to be blown out of the water.’ Why would I need to be blown out of the water? That doesn’t make or break your decision, at least for me. I’m not going to the highest bidder. I’m going to the place that makes me and ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2014 at 09:02 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, jon lester, red sox

How Burke Badenhop uses Pitch F/X data

What can Badenhop glean from the site after an outing? He recently pulled up the data from an outing last week against the Cardinals — a one-batter appearance in which he struck out Matt Holliday on four pitches.
The first thing he looks at is velocity. Although Badenhop generally finds velocity overrated, there’s obviously value to knowing how hard he threw in a particular outing. Often, the radar-gun readings say more about his effort level and his aggressiveness on the mound than, say, ...

Read More...
Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2014 at 09:00 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: burke badenhop, pitchfx, sabermetrics

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Jazayerli: Hitting Wins Championships: Why the Chicago Cubs’ Inverted Rebuilding Strategy Is Starting to Look Brilliant (Grantland)

I don’t simply mean that the Cubs are rebuilding with complete conviction; under the terms of MLB’s collective bargaining agreement, that’s really the only way to go.1 Nor do I mean that the Cubs are nearly the extremists that the Houston Astros are. I’m referring instead to the core principle with which the Cubs have been trying to build a championship roster since team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer were hired after the 2011 season, a principle that distinguishes ...

Read More...
Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: August 12, 2014 at 07:48 PM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, grantland, rany jazayerli, theo epstein

FG: Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez and Appreciating Greatness

Let’s go back to the qualified pitcher seasons since 1915, of which there are 7,464… Only 18 times — 0.002% — has a pitcher topped 25% in strikeouts and kept walks below five percent… Four of those seasons had more than one home run per nine innings. Ten of them were above 0.50/9. Still very good, and yet now out of the mix.

We’re left with four seasons… Let’s limit our pitchers to only seasons where the ground ball rate has been at least 50%; this, unfortunately, goes back only to ...

Read More...

Calcaterra: Rays minor leaguer Josh Sale is suspended. Again.

I really thought I was going to be able to pull the trigger on the ambiguous headline here, but I just couldn’t…

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Tampa Bay Rays Minor League outfielder Joshua Sale has received a 50-game suspension without pay after a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.  The suspension of Sale, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Charlotte Stone Crabs of the ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: August 12, 2014 at 04:26 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: josh sale, minor leagues, rays, suspensions

Robin Williams and a baseball film he never made

Williams’ best baseball line:

 

   Sgt. Major Dickerson: [Pointing to his rank insignia] What does three up and three down mean to you, airman?

   Adrian Cronauer: End of an inning?

I fervently wanted Robin Williams to play Casey Stengel.

A long time ago, I wrote a book about the Hall of Fame manager based upon what I believed to be the central conflict of his life: That he was a very funny man who also wanted to be taken seriously. I don’t mean that Stengel liked to take off his ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 03:11 PM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball in film, casey stengel, robin williams, yankees

BP: Sveum’s unheard guide to fixing Royals’ offense

Freddie Patek says just get shorter hitters!

[The Royals] fired [their] previous hitting coach, Pedro Grifol, at the end of May. The replacement was Dale Sveum, before that the manager of the Cubs. The position of hitting coach is widely believed to be largely ornamental (and sometimes sacrificial) in nature. They don’t do much to change the hitters in their tutelage, but they are the first to be fired when the offense underperforms. Accordingly, the Royals were on their fifth hitting coach in ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: August 12, 2014 at 03:04 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dale sveum, royals, sabermetrics

The 1994 strike cost us a terrible playoff team

CONSPIRACY THEORY: Bud Selig cancelled the World Series to avoid this embarrassing failure!

When the strike hit on August 12, 1994, the AL West had four teams with a losing record out of four, with the first-place Rangers sitting at 52-62.

That alone is bad enough, but let’s slap some context on this to drive home how absurd it would have been for the 1994 Rangers or one of the teams trailing them—after all, the last-place Angels were just 5.5 back of Texas at the time of the strike—to ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:48 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs, rangers, strike, work stoppage

What if the Expos won the 1994 World Series?

I don’t want to live in a world where Loria’s glorious home run machine in Miami doesn’t exist.

World Series champions always experience an attendance craze in the following season, sometimes several seasons. With the revenue increase down the stretch in 1994 with postseason games and everything, isn’t it possible the Expos kept the core together?

If so, the Expos don’t alienate their fan base and finish last in 1995. That’s a whole different ballgame now.

It was obvious the ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:41 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: bud selig, expos, strike, work stoppage

BP (Carleton): I Believe In Clutch Hitting

I assume he means for the next two months, and then Jeter retires.

I examined how, for each player, the leverage of a situation affected his tendencies to swing at the first pitch… I then… calculated the chances that each player would swing at a first pitch when the leverage index was 1 (average) and 2 (a situation twice as important as the average situation)... What I found is that for hitters who show more of an effect on swing difference (leverage makes them swing at the first pitch more), ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:24 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: sabermetrics

FG: Xander Bogaerts’ Rookie Struggles

I think we’ve learned that “trouble with the curve” is no good for anybody…

[Xander] Bogaerts… has a wRC+ of 82, which combined with mediocre defense has left him hovering around replacement level…

Bogaerts is actually hitting pretty well against fastballs and changeups. The crux of his issues this year have been against breaking balls. And there’s really no way to sugarcoat it. He’s been terrible against any and all spin, hitting just .143 and slugging .167. Unfortunately, opposing ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: August 12, 2014 at 02:06 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, sabermetrics, xander bogaerts

Gleeman: Domingo Santana is 0-for-17 with 14 strikeouts and “just panicked” defensively

No biggie; there’s this guy in San Francisco who’s Panik all the time.

Astros prospect Domingo Santana hit .292 with 14 homers and an .844 OPS in 104 games at Triple-A to earn his first call-up to the big leagues, but the 21-year-old outfielder has been an absolute mess so far in Houston.

Santana has begun his MLB career by going 0-for-17 with 14 strikeouts at the plate… Santana also made a bone-headed defensive play in left field last night, lackadaisically fielding Joe Mauer‘s go-ahead ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: August 12, 2014 at 01:53 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, domingo santana

Twins Triple-A team completes the oddest no-hitter you’ll see this season

Shore ‘nuff!

The Rochester Red Wings, the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, completed a no-hitter Monday against the Durham Bulls that was started in a different month, in a different state, by a pitcher who is now in the big leagues.

The no-hitter started on July 24 in Durham, where weather caused the game to be suspended until Monday in Rochester… Trevor May, who made his MLB debut for the Twins on Saturday night, started the game in July for Rochester, throwing three no-hit innings. ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: August 12, 2014 at 01:20 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: history, logan darnell, minor leagues, trevor may, twins

Sean Doolittle: Life as a player for the Oakland ‘Mathletics’

The 1940s Yankees had good wOPS…

Baseball is a game of numbers, and we at the Oakland Athletics keep track of everything… So exactly which metrics do the A’s value most when assessing potential players? I think I’ve finally figured it out…

wOPS (weighted overhead press): This gem calculates how strong a player is to determine whether he can carry a team. In Oakland, no one player carries our team. We all have very similar wOPS numbers.

BABIP: That’s batting average on balls in play, right? ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: August 12, 2014 at 12:49 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, sabermetrics, sean doolittle

Goldman: Derek Jeter is far better than Honus Wagner, and that’s final

Writing back in the 1990s, I posed the question of how the great 1906 Cubs (116-36) would have done if they had had a chance to play against a team composed of the likes of Mark McGwire.  My hyperbolic supposition was that the question would have remained unanswered because their first reaction would have been to scream, “Agh! Giant!” and run like hell. The same goes for Jeter. As the title of Laurence Ritter’s classic oral history of the Deadball era tells us, Wagner and his contemporaries ...

Read More...
Repoz Posted: August 12, 2014 at 09:39 AM | 112 comment(s)
  Beats: history, yankees

Sun News Network: Old dude at Cubs game makes off-balance catch, sneakily tosses other ball back

Actually, the “old coot” is 65-year old Mike Pullin, a retired professional bowler. In any event, he’s no Bartman.

The aged dude is apparently as quick with his mind as he is with his glove.

Immediately following the snag, he grabbed a ball resting on his seat and tossed it back into play.

The broadcast team was even fooled by the subtle trick: ”He throws the ball back into play, but the Brewers will take that home run…”

JE (Jason) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 09:32 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fans, old coot, wrigley field

Byron Buxton promoted to Double-A

Last night, the Twins promoted Buxton to Double-A New Britain. It has to be more off of feel for his development than performance, as a recent slump has saw his numbers dip to .240/.313/.405 in 134 plate appearances for the Fort Myers Miracle. A slower start might be expected for any player whose season was as start-stop-start-stop-start as Buxton’s has been, but it doesn’t sound like that’s a concern for the Twins’ brass.

Our favorite quote regarding Buxton is Terry Ryan saying that ...

Read More...
RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 09:29 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, prospects, twins

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-12-2014

El Paso Herald, August 12, 1914:

If John McGraw isn’t careful he’ll wake up some morning to find that “Big Jeff” Tesreau has jumped the Giants and taken a job in the “White Hope” league.
...
But fate so far has ruled against Tesreau becoming a pugilist and it seems that fate will continue so to rule, assisted by Mrs. Tesreau, who is very much opposed to “Jeff’s” pugilistic ideas.

“Jeff” yearns to bring back to the white race the crown that Jack Johnson snatched from Jeffries.

He didn’t, ...

Read More...
Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 06:49 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, jeff tesreau

FG: The Best and Worst Benches So Far

not groundbreaking stuff, but i think it’s somewhat interesting. 

In a perfect world, a bench wouldn’t need to contribute much at all, because in a perfect world, all nine (or eight) starters would be so productive and so consistent that a bench would barely be needed. But that’s not how it works. People get hurt, people go through slumps and people simply need a rest now and then, so the luxury of having not only depth, but productive depth, becomes a pretty important and easily ...

Read More...
steagles Posted: August 12, 2014 at 12:37 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: sabrmetrics

OMNICHATTER 8-12-14

Nanu Nanu

Gamingboy Posted: August 12, 2014 at 12:10 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: omnichatter

Monday, August 11, 2014

Royals Acquire Josh Willingham

Hopefully not sharing too much time with Ibanez…

The Royals have acquired Josh Willingham from the Twins, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). The Twins will receive right-hander Jason Adam, per Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link).

Willingham was claimed by Kansas City off revocable waivers, tweets Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press… 

The right-handed hitter, 35, is set to reach free agency following the season and will therefore be a pure ...

Read More...
The District Attorney Posted: August 11, 2014 at 07:32 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: jason adam, josh willingham, royals, trades, transactions, twins

CAN CLAYTON KERSHAW WIN THE MVP?

Since Clayton Kershaw came back from the disabled list in May, he has been pitching even better than ever. His 2014 ERA (1.78) is even better than his 2013 ERA. He also hasn’t allowed an un-earned run, so his RA9 is also 1.78. Kershaw’s 1.76 FIP is the best of his career by over half a run. Johnny Cueto is still relatively close to Kershaw in adjusted ERA, and he has more innings. He might still win over voters in the Cy Young voting, based on how they have voted in the past (let’s face ...

Read More...
Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: August 11, 2014 at 06:11 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

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